US6002594A - Flexible touchpad circuit with mounted circuit board - Google Patents

Flexible touchpad circuit with mounted circuit board Download PDF

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Publication number
US6002594A
US6002594A US08999908 US99990897A US6002594A US 6002594 A US6002594 A US 6002594A US 08999908 US08999908 US 08999908 US 99990897 A US99990897 A US 99990897A US 6002594 A US6002594 A US 6002594A
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US
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
components
circuit board
contacts
touchpad
spacing
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
US08999908
Inventor
Marc Ledin
Bernard Kasser
Stephen J. Bisset
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Elan Microelectronics Corp
Original Assignee
Logitech Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
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Publication date
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/041Digitisers, e.g. for touch screens or touch pads, characterised by the transducing means
    • G06F3/044Digitisers, e.g. for touch screens or touch pads, characterised by the transducing means by capacitive means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0354Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of 2D relative movements between the device, or an operating part thereof, and a plane or surface, e.g. 2D mice, trackballs, pens or pucks
    • G06F3/03547Touch pads, in which fingers can move on a surface
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K1/00Printed circuits
    • H05K1/02Details
    • H05K1/14Structural association of two or more printed circuits
    • H05K1/147Structural association of two or more printed circuits at least one of the printed circuits being bent or folded, e.g. by using a flexible printed circuit
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H2207/00Connections
    • H01H2207/008Adhesive means; Conductive adhesive
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H2239/00Miscellaneous
    • H01H2239/01Miscellaneous combined with other elements on the same substrate
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K1/00Printed circuits
    • H05K1/02Details
    • H05K1/09Use of materials for the metallic pattern or other conductive pattern
    • H05K1/092Dispersed materials, e.g. conductive pastes or inks
    • H05K1/095Dispersed materials, e.g. conductive pastes or inks for polymer thick films, i.e. having a permanent organic polymeric binder
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K2201/00Indexing scheme relating to printed circuits covered by H05K1/00
    • H05K2201/10Details of components or other objects attached to or integrated in a printed circuit board
    • H05K2201/10007Types of components
    • H05K2201/10053Switch
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K3/00Apparatus or processes for manufacturing printed circuits
    • H05K3/30Assembling printed circuits with electric components, e.g. with resistor
    • H05K3/32Assembling printed circuits with electric components, e.g. with resistor electrically connecting electric components or wires to printed circuits
    • H05K3/321Assembling printed circuits with electric components, e.g. with resistor electrically connecting electric components or wires to printed circuits by conductive adhesive
    • H05K3/323Assembling printed circuits with electric components, e.g. with resistor electrically connecting electric components or wires to printed circuits by conductive adhesive by applying an anisotropic conductive adhesive layer over an array of pads
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05KPRINTED CIRCUITS; CASINGS OR CONSTRUCTIONAL DETAILS OF ELECTRIC APPARATUS; MANUFACTURE OF ASSEMBLAGES OF ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
    • H05K3/00Apparatus or processes for manufacturing printed circuits
    • H05K3/36Assembling printed circuits with other printed circuits
    • H05K3/361Assembling flexible printed circuits with other printed circuits

Abstract

An improved flexible substrate for a touchpad, with the flexible substrate having conductive ink for forming a sensor array. A printed circuit board is also used, but only for the components which need to connect to the array, and not the array, thus giving a smaller printed circuit board. The printed circuit board can have the components compactly mounted on it taking advantage of the close spacing available in PC board technology. The PC board itself has wider spacing on its contacts at its outer edges, allowing it to be attached by conductive glue to the flexible substrate.

Description

This application claims benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 06/033,779 filed Dec. 20, 1996.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to touchpads, and in particular to methods for assembling lightweight, very thin, low cost touchpads.

A touchpad is one method for providing a pointing function to control a cursor or viewpoint on a computer. Alternately, the display itself can be a touchscreen, being activated when the user presses on the screen. Detection of the user finger or stylus has been done by a variety of different ways. Resistive tablets are one method that has been used, such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,680,430. Another method uses surface acoustic waves. Yet another method uses strain gauges or pressure plates. Optical devices have also been used.

The most common type of commercially used touchpad device is a capacitive sensing device. One advantage of the capacitive-type device is the lower power consumption required and it doesn't require finger pressure. An example of such a device, which also discusses a number of other related technologies, is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 5,495,077.

Touchpads are currently built into some laptop computers, typically being on a portion of a computer in front of the keyboard where the user would normally rest his or her hands. For a portable computer application, it is important that the touchpad unit consume little power, be compact, and be lightweight.

Typically, a touchpad requires a substrate with multiple layers. The layers include rows of conductive traces, followed by an insulating layer, followed by columns of conductive traces, followed by another insulating layer and a ground plane. By pressing on a particular portion of the array, the capacitance between the conductive lines and ground varies and can be detected. By sensing both rows and columns, the position of the changing capacitance can be pinpointed. A variety of electronic components are required in order to control and detect the signals from the sensor array.

One technology used in some electronics applications is a flexible, Mylar sheet upon which are deposited conductive ink. Such a sheet is thinner than a typical PC board, and thus provides size advantages. However, components cannot be soldered to a Mylar sheet without melting it, and thus conductive adhesives are required to attach components. Thus, electronic chips and discrete components can be attached to such a Mylar sheet.

One limitation in using a conductive glue or adhesive to attach components to the conductive ink traces on a Mylar sheet is that there must be sufficient spacing between the contacts or pads attaching to the sheet. Thus, greater spacing between leads of components, such as semiconductor chips, is required than would be required on a PC board. Thus, a tradeoff of using a Mylar sheet is that lower weight and a thinner profile can be obtained, but at the expense of requiring a greater area on which to place the components. One solution for semiconductor chips is to mount them in a larger package, with the package itself having a wider lead spacing which can then be attached to the Mylar sheet.

An approach used by Alps is to use a combination flexible sheet and circuit board at different layers for a touchpad device. Conventional touchpads use 4 layer PC boards. Instead of building all 4 layers of a touchpad from PC board material, a 2 layer PC board is used for the Alps touchpad. The flexible material is used for the upper 2 layers, and is glued to the PC board. This still gives a PC board which is the same size and is rigid, it does not provide a thin touchpad. Through holes are used to connect to the underlying PC layer, with conductive ink being placed on the flexible layer and over the through holes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved flexible substrate for a touchpad, with the flexible substrate having conductive ink for forming a sensor array. A printed circuit board is also used, but only for the components which need to connect to the array, and not the array, thus giving a smaller printed circuit board. The printed circuit board can have the components compactly mounted on it taking advantage of the close spacing available in PC board technology. The PC board itself has wider spacing on its contacts at its outer edges, allowing it to be attached by conductive glue to the flexible substrate.

For a further understanding of the nature and advantages of the invention, reference should be made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a touchpad sensor with a flexible sheet and discrete components attached.

FIG. 2 is a diagram of a flexible sensor with a circuit board attached according to the invention.

FIGS. 3A-B are top and bottom views of a prior art touchpad with components mounted directly on a polyester substrate.

FIGS. 4A-B are top and bottom views of a conventional 4 layer PCB touchpad.

FIGS. 5A-B are top and bottom views of an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows a touchpad sensor substrate 10 made of a flexible material, such as Mylar. A number of traces 12 forming rows and columns of conductive ink form the touchpad array 14. The array can then be connected to a number of discrete components 16, 18 and 20, as well as a semiconductor integrated circuit package 22 (only some components are shown for illustration). Because of the spacing required to attach components using conductive adhesive to the flexible substrate 10, semiconductor chip package 22 could not be directly attached. One alternative is to mount the semiconductor chip of package 22 in a special package 24, having a wider perimeter and thus allowing more widely spaced leads or contacts to be attached to the substrate 10. As can be seen, the amount of room required for package 24, along with discrete components 16, 18 and 12, magnifies the size of the device.

FIG. 2 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The sensor array 14 is again formed of conductive ink traces on a substrate 10, preferably a polyester sheet such as Mylar. Here, however, semiconductor chip 22, along with components 16, 18 and 20 are all mounted on a conventional circuit board 26.

The use of circuit board 26 allows the components to be mounted tightly together, with the narrow lead or contact spacing permissible in printed circuit board technology. At the same time, the circuit board itself has wider spaced contacts 28 around its perimeter, with these contacts being sufficiently widely spaced to allow them to be attached by conductive adhesive to the conductive ink traces on substrate 10. By combining all the discrete components and any integrated circuit chips on a single PC board, which is then attached to the Mylar sheet upon which the sensor array is located, the present invention provides an elegant solution which is a marriage of two technologies to provide a low cost, compact circuit for a touchpad. Instead of using the prior art printed circuit board approach with all the components and a sensor array on the circuit board, or a Mylar flexible sheet approach, with discrete components mounted and wider spacing, the present invention uniquely marries the two technologies to extract the best from each and provide a combined structure which is easily manufactured at a low cost.

The present invention also allows mounting of different component types that cannot be mounted on a flexible sheet, or would be more difficult to mount on a flexible sheet. For example, COB ("Chip On Board") technology could be used (gluing the chip directly on the circuit board), or flip-chip technology, or simply chip packages with a fine pitch between leads. In general, more advanced component technology can be used on the PC board.

In addition, the present invention allows a ground plane to be added to the back of the circuit board to reduce noise problems. Such a ground plan on the flexible sheet would be problematic because of the thinness of the flexible sheet, causing undesirable capacitance which would affect the capacitive measurements of the touch pad array.

The present invention provides modularity by allowing the same PC board to be mounted on different flexible substrates. The flexible substrate can be customized to the particular size, array spacing, etc. for a particular customer.

The structure of the present invention also can provide modularity, by allowing different printed circuit boards 26 to be placed upon the same footprint of a substrate 10 to provide different functionality. This modularity also simplifies the manufacturing process by only requiring a single component to be attached to the Mylar sheet. The simpler, more proven technique of mounting multiple components on a printed circuit board can be done first, with all the components being mounted in a standard manner on the PC board, and then board itself mounted in one step to the Mylar sheet, simplifying the complex task of using conductive adhesive to mount a component to the Mylar sheet.

As will be apparent to those of skill in the art, the present invention could be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. Accordingly, the foregoing description is intended to be illustrative, but not limiting, of the scope of the invention, which is set forth in the following claims.

Claims (5)

What is claimed is:
1. A touchpad for providing an input to a computer display, comprising:
an array of touchpad traces formed with conductive ink on a flexible substrate;
a plurality of connecting conductive traces for connecting said array of traces to other components;
a circuit board having contacts bonded to said connecting conductive traces, said contacts being bonded using a conductive adhesive, said contacts being sufficiently spaced to allow conductive adhesive to bond said contacts to said connecting conductive traces without contacting an adjacent trace;
a plurality of components mounted on said circuit board and connected to lines on said circuit board which are connected to said contacts, at least a plurality of said lines being connected to at least one of said components with a spacing closer than a spacing of said contacts.
2. The touchpad of claim 1 further comprising:
a ground plane deposited on a surface of said circuit board opposite said components.
3. The touchpad of claim 1 wherein said flexible substrate is polyester.
4. The touchpad of claim 1 wherein said components are mounted with a spacing closer than a spacing which would be possible if said components were mounted directly on said flexible substrate.
5. A touchpad for providing an input to a computer display, comprising:
an array of touchpad traces formed with conductive ink on a flexible substrate;
a plurality of connecting conductive traces for connecting said array of traces to other components;
a circuit board having contacts bonded to said connecting conductive traces, said contacts being bonded using a conductive adhesive, said contacts being sufficiently spaced to allow conductive adhesive to bond said contacts to said connecting conductive traces without contacting an adjacent trace;
a plurality of components mounted on said circuit board and connected to lines on said circuit board which are connected to said contacts, at least a plurality of said lines being connected to at least one of said components with a spacing closer than a spacing of said contacts; and
a ground plane deposited on a surface of said circuit board opposite said components;
wherein said components are mounted with a spacing closer than a spacing which would be possible if said components were mounted directly on said flexible substrate.
US08999908 1996-12-20 1997-12-19 Flexible touchpad circuit with mounted circuit board Expired - Lifetime US6002594A (en)

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US3377996 true 1996-12-20 1996-12-20
US08999908 US6002594A (en) 1996-12-20 1997-12-19 Flexible touchpad circuit with mounted circuit board

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US20010047422A1 (en) * 2000-01-21 2001-11-29 Mcternan Brennan J. System and method for using benchmarking to account for variations in client capabilities in the distribution of a media presentation
EP1275204A1 (en) * 2000-01-11 2003-01-15 Cirque Corporation Flexible touchpad sensor grid for conforming to arcuate surfaces
US20050030048A1 (en) * 2003-08-05 2005-02-10 Bolender Robert J. Capacitive sensing device for use in a keypad assembly
US20060028437A1 (en) * 1992-03-05 2006-02-09 Armstrong Brad A Image controller
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US20080074398A1 (en) * 2006-09-26 2008-03-27 David Gordon Wright Single-layer capacitive sensing device
US20080088595A1 (en) * 2006-10-12 2008-04-17 Hua Liu Interconnected two-substrate layer touchpad capacitive sensing device
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US8244371B2 (en) 2005-03-18 2012-08-14 Metacure Limited Pancreas lead
US8260416B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-09-04 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US8321013B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-11-27 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller and pacing with hemodynamic enhancement
US8326416B2 (en) 2003-03-10 2012-12-04 Impulse Dynamics Nv Apparatus and method for delivering electrical signals to modify gene expression in cardiac tissue
US8352031B2 (en) 2004-03-10 2013-01-08 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification
CN103260334A (en) * 2012-02-16 2013-08-21 群康科技(深圳)有限公司 Interface module and manufacturing method thereof
US20130215577A1 (en) * 2012-02-16 2013-08-22 Chimei Innolux Corporation Interface module and manufacturing method thereof
US8548583B2 (en) 2004-03-10 2013-10-01 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification
US8655444B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2014-02-18 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US8666495B2 (en) 1999-03-05 2014-03-04 Metacure Limited Gastrointestinal methods and apparatus for use in treating disorders and controlling blood sugar
US8674932B2 (en) 1996-07-05 2014-03-18 Anascape, Ltd. Image controller
US8700161B2 (en) 1999-03-05 2014-04-15 Metacure Limited Blood glucose level control
US20140168136A1 (en) * 2012-12-17 2014-06-19 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Electronic device with capacitive touch screen
US8792985B2 (en) 2003-07-21 2014-07-29 Metacure Limited Gastrointestinal methods and apparatus for use in treating disorders and controlling blood sugar
US8825152B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2014-09-02 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Modulation of intracellular calcium concentration using non-excitatory electrical signals applied to the tissue
US8934975B2 (en) 2010-02-01 2015-01-13 Metacure Limited Gastrointestinal electrical therapy
US9289618B1 (en) 1996-01-08 2016-03-22 Impulse Dynamics Nv Electrical muscle controller
EP2567600B1 (en) * 2010-05-07 2016-07-06 Microchip Technology Germany II GmbH & Co. KG Circuit board for display and display module with display and circuit board
CN103260334B (en) * 2012-02-16 2016-11-30 群康科技(深圳)有限公司 Interface module and manufacturing method thereof
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US9753597B2 (en) 2009-07-24 2017-09-05 Cypress Semiconductor Corporation Mutual capacitance sensing array
US9931503B2 (en) 2003-03-10 2018-04-03 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification

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Cited By (63)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20060028437A1 (en) * 1992-03-05 2006-02-09 Armstrong Brad A Image controller
US9081426B2 (en) 1992-03-05 2015-07-14 Anascape, Ltd. Image controller
US8306616B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-11-06 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US8321013B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-11-27 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller and pacing with hemodynamic enhancement
US9289618B1 (en) 1996-01-08 2016-03-22 Impulse Dynamics Nv Electrical muscle controller
US8311629B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-11-13 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US8825152B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2014-09-02 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Modulation of intracellular calcium concentration using non-excitatory electrical signals applied to the tissue
US8306617B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-11-06 Impulse Dynamics N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US9186514B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2015-11-17 Impulse Dynamics Nv Electrical muscle controller
US8958872B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2015-02-17 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US8301247B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-10-30 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US8260416B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2012-09-04 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US8655444B2 (en) 1996-01-08 2014-02-18 Impulse Dynamics, N.V. Electrical muscle controller
US9713723B2 (en) 1996-01-11 2017-07-25 Impulse Dynamics Nv Signal delivery through the right ventricular septum
US8674932B2 (en) 1996-07-05 2014-03-18 Anascape, Ltd. Image controller
US8700161B2 (en) 1999-03-05 2014-04-15 Metacure Limited Blood glucose level control
US8666495B2 (en) 1999-03-05 2014-03-04 Metacure Limited Gastrointestinal methods and apparatus for use in treating disorders and controlling blood sugar
EP1275204A4 (en) * 2000-01-11 2009-02-04 Cirque Corp Flexible touchpad sensor grid for conforming to arcuate surfaces
EP1275204A1 (en) * 2000-01-11 2003-01-15 Cirque Corporation Flexible touchpad sensor grid for conforming to arcuate surfaces
US6680731B2 (en) 2000-01-11 2004-01-20 Cirque Corporation Flexible touchpad sensor grid for conforming to arcuate surfaces
US20010047422A1 (en) * 2000-01-21 2001-11-29 Mcternan Brennan J. System and method for using benchmarking to account for variations in client capabilities in the distribution of a media presentation
US7843439B2 (en) 2003-02-10 2010-11-30 N-Trig Ltd. Touch detection for a digitizer
US9931503B2 (en) 2003-03-10 2018-04-03 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification
US8326416B2 (en) 2003-03-10 2012-12-04 Impulse Dynamics Nv Apparatus and method for delivering electrical signals to modify gene expression in cardiac tissue
US8792985B2 (en) 2003-07-21 2014-07-29 Metacure Limited Gastrointestinal methods and apparatus for use in treating disorders and controlling blood sugar
US8305359B2 (en) 2003-08-05 2012-11-06 Synaptics Incorporated Capacitive sensing device for use in a keypad assembly
US20050030048A1 (en) * 2003-08-05 2005-02-10 Bolender Robert J. Capacitive sensing device for use in a keypad assembly
US9440080B2 (en) 2004-03-10 2016-09-13 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification
US8352031B2 (en) 2004-03-10 2013-01-08 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification
US8548583B2 (en) 2004-03-10 2013-10-01 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification
US8977353B2 (en) 2004-03-10 2015-03-10 Impulse Dynamics Nv Protein activity modification
US8244371B2 (en) 2005-03-18 2012-08-14 Metacure Limited Pancreas lead
US9591764B2 (en) 2005-06-01 2017-03-07 Synaptics Incorporated Touch pad with flexible substrate
US7439962B2 (en) 2005-06-01 2008-10-21 Synaptics Incorporated Touch pad with flexible substrate
US20090002339A1 (en) * 2005-06-01 2009-01-01 Synaptics Incorporated Touch pad with flexible substrate
US8797292B2 (en) 2005-06-01 2014-08-05 Synaptics Incorporated Touch pad with flexible substrate
US9990061B2 (en) 2005-06-01 2018-06-05 Synaptics Incorporated Touch Pad with flexible substrate
US8085250B2 (en) 2005-06-01 2011-12-27 Synaptics Incorporated Touch pad with flexible substrate
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